Irish Defence Force in Lebannon?

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Skinn_Full, Aug 11, 2006.

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  1. I know someone will be able to answer this one, so here goes. I dont live in Ireland anymore so am unsure of the situation, is the Irish Army still conducting tours in Lebannon in the peacekeeping role, a lot of guys on my old street were frequently doing 3-4 month tours in the area, was wondering if they are there at the moment and are they involved in the current situation in any capacity. I've seen nothing of them on the T.V etc. Most of the lads I knew who had been there were just going for the craic as there was not much soldiering involved (so I was told anyway!) bar plenty of character building 'black stuff' consumption! Any feedback is appreciated.

    Cheers Easy!
    Ireland became a member of the United Nations in 1955. Since 1958, the Defence Forces has had a continuous presence on peacekeeping missions, mainly in the Middle East. However, in recent years, following the end of the cold war, Irish Defence Forces personnel have also found themselves in many other parts of the globe as peacekeepers. Personnel have served as observers in Central America, Russia, former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Namibia, Western Sahara , South Africa and East Timor. This extensive Irish participation in peacekeeping is regarded in very positive terms both by the Government and the Defence Forces. Indeed, in September 1993 the Government restated the roles of the Defence Forces and defined one of them as being:

    "To participate in United Nations missions in the cause of international peace"

    Ireland's participation in peacekeeping operations has promoted a positive image of Ireland and it's Defence Forces both within the international community at the United Nations and among all sides in the mission areas.

    Unfortunately this service has not been without cost. To date 85 members of the Defence Forces have given their lives in the cause of world peace.


    1955 - Ireland became a member of the UN.

    1958 - First Observer Mission to Lebanon (UNOGIL).

    1960 - First Peacekeeping Mission to the Congo (ONUC).

    1978 - Peacekeeping Mission to Lebanon (UNIFIL) - ongoing.

    1993 - First Enforcement Mission to Somalia (UNSOM II).

    1997 - Stabilisation Force in Former Yugoslavia (SFOR) - ongoing.

    1998 - Signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for UN Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS).

    1999 - Kosovo Force (KFOR).

    2003 - United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

    - International Force East Timor (INTERFET)

    - Ireland joins Partnership for Peace (PfP).

    Foreign Policy Statement: In addition to the peacekeeping role assigned by Government to the Defence Forces in 1993, Ireland's commitment to peacekeeping was re-affirmed in the 1996 Government White Paper on Foreign Policy which states :

    "given the unique role and authority of the United Nations and the fact that its peacekeeping activities have proved an important element in containing conflict, the Government are committed to sustaining the overall level of Ireland's contribution to peacekeeping."
  3. The Irish Army withdrew from Lebanon in 2001, there was a battalion +/- there for 23 years prior (not the same battalion obviously).

    The normal tour was six months, but as far as I know you were allowed up to three back to back deployments there if you could justify it.
    For a long time it was the only thing keeping Ireland's proffessional army going although it was falsely portrayed by various walts and journos as a sun holiday at the taxpayers expense.
  4. The Leb was a great posting for the IDF for years until, as Imshi points out, they were withdrawn in 2001 when peace descended once again upon the once thriving country. After that I wondered would it ever be the playground of the millionaires it had been in the 60's. Time has proven that there is still some negotiating before that proves to be the case.

    Will the IDF go back? Who knows. The UN owed the Irish exchequer billions and the IDF in the Leb were known as the 'falling plates' but it was the one place, apart from Cyprus where Irish servicemen could get some overseas time in at good rates of pay.
  5. I'm confused, when you say IDF you mean Irish, not Israeli?
  6. Yes. My apologies. Both are known by the same acronym but I'm more used to referring to the Irish Defence Forces by those letters.
  7. Alright lads, thanks for that.
  8. They may still have a presence. I remember chatting to an IDF commandant in early 2003 who told me that they still had observers out there (less than ten).

    Edditted four spooling
  9. Falling plates? Thats a new one to me.

    Enlighten me please.

    They do still have some Ciggarillo Smoking, Brandy Quaffing types over there as observers, they get an interview with the newsmedia here every time the Israelis try to blow them up.
  10. From recollection it was an Irish Lt Col who made six calls to the Israelis to tell them to stop the bombardment of the UN observer bunker at Khiyam. After the destruction of the bunker, the Irish government backed him to the hilt, and took a leading part in condemnation of the Israeli actions.
  11. Are you in the army?

    Falling plates are static metal targets which fall when hit.
  12. I think you may find that he was an Irish Canadian. I'm prepared to be challenged on that but the IDF say they have no-one over there at the moment.
  13. Web Source (Scotsman)

    PS: Confusion probably due to the fact that there is more than one UN Mission/mandate in the area.
  14. is seldom updated and is due for replacement with a site that isn't crap.

    I'm not sure if the Irish Observers are there under the Auspices of UNIFIL or UFIOPNIGBAGPGAGHIL but they are there.